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MK Tibi Thanks South Africa for Labeling 'Settlements'

MK Ahmed Tibi thanks South Africa over decision to label products produced in Judea and Samaria as 'Palestinian'.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/21/2012, 5:11 AM

MK Ahmed Tibi
MK Ahmed Tibi
Flash 90

MK Ahmed Tibi sent a thank you letter on Sunday to South Africa's Ambassador to Israel, following the country's decision that products produced by Israeli companies in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) cannot be labeled as products of Israel.

According to a report on Army Radio, Tibi called South Africa’s position “moral and courageous” and expressed hope that other countries will follow.

Tibi has previously called for a boycott of products manufactured in Judea, Samaria, and east Jerusalem. He recently said that “settlements are a cancer spreading all over Palestinian land, and cancer should be treated and eradicated.”

On Saturday, South African Minister Rob Davies issued an announcement warning merchants “not to incorrectly label products that originate from the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) as products of Israel.”

The announcement followed a year-long campaign by pro-Palestinian Authority groups.

Israel later said it intends to summon the South African ambassador for clarifications over the matter.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that the decision “is singling Israel out on a clearly political basis. This decision has racist characteristics. The Government of South Africa does not clarify in the new regulation what is defined as made ​​in Judea and Samaria. The EU has a list and clear criteria to distinguish between products made in Israeli settlements and those that are not. The vague phrasing in the South African regulation shows that there are no clear criteria and therefore it will hurt Israeli products in general.”

Tibi, meanwhile, has a long history of anti-Israel activities, which include going to New York to be a part of the Palestinian Authority’s delegation to the United Nations when it presented its unilateral statehood bid last September.

Last January Tibi praised the Palestinian Authority’s “martyrs” at a ceremony held on the occasion of "Palestinian Martyrs Day” and sponsored by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.